Patrick Procktor RA

Patrick Procktor RA was born in Dublin, the younger son of an oil company accountant, he moved to London when his father died in 1940 and attended Highgate School where his teachers included landscape painter Kyffin Williams. At 18-year-old Procktor was conscripted into the Royal Navy where, during his National Service, he learned to speak Russian. Subsequently, while working as a Russian interpreter with the British Council, Procktor began to paint and draw in his spare time, and was accepted by the Slade School of Fine Art in 1958. There he was influenced by artists including William Coldstream and Keith Vaughan, developing a dark, figurative painting style.

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In 1962 he became a professional artist and had his first show at the Redfern Gallery in London's Cork Street in 1963, a great commercial success that helped confirm his reputation among a wider artistic circle including the theatre and music (he won numerous commissions for pop record sleeves). A year later, Procktor was featured in Bryan Robertson's New Generation exhibition at the White Chapel Gallery a show that also raised the profile of fellow artists David Hockney, Bridget Riley and John Hoyland.

Procktor's work, primarily in oils, acrylics and watercolour, drew on pop art influences, but were also influenced by his travels (he visited Italy, Greece, India, China and Japan, among other places). He was also adept at print-making, producing a sequence to illustrate a new 1976 edition of Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. In 1984 he was commissioned to paint a reredos for the St John the Baptist's Chapel in Chichester Cathedral.

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